Blue Garuda wrote:
OK. That's the vernacular, but you mentioned 'all samayas' . In DI the samaya encompasses all others, so presumably breaking it also breaks all others?
In terms of the Ngagpa, is it correct to assume they all practice Dzogchen, or do the Gelug Ngagpas not do so? (I was told there was a Gelug Ngagpa ordination, but I've not managed to confirm this.)
The term sngags pa is pretty general and loose.
The probable early origin of it had to do with the fact that serious Buddhist upasakas in India typically wore white. This custom was transferred to Tibet. Because in Tibet there was no context of a wider Buddhist society, upasaka mantra practitioners came to be respected along with the monks. It was never the case that in India there was a so called "sngags pa" sangha. The sngags pa class of practitioners evolved from the circumstances of Tibetan society. So, your so called sngags pa was originally a Buddhist upasaka who practiced tantra.
Later on when the Chö tradition was evolving, alongside of this there evolved a kind of Buddhist sadhu in Tibet called a chöpa. The present day hair empowerment tradition largely is derived from chö.
These days there are many people who are told by their teachers to where stripped robes, etc., and they call themselves Ngagpas too. Also the garb of different sngag pa colleges vary -- there really isn't a set thing.
There is no sngags pa tradition in Gelug. It exists only in Nyingma. The only Ngagpas in Sakya are the Khon, and their tradition is Nyingma as well. The Kagyus don't really have ngagpas in the same way as the Nyingmapas. They have Togdens and Repas (also another kind of Buddhist sadhu). In general, the term Ngagpa has come to mean "serious tantric practitioner who is not a monk", much like its original usage. The idea that ngagpas have to follow monastic vows is a very debatable point of view --but it comes from the approach to the nine yānas found in root Anuyoga tantra, Dupa'i Do.
ChNN does not emphasize a chatechistic approach to samaya where you are behaving like a hinayāna practitioner, obsessed with the details of one's vows.
Samaya means "being together". So in this case it refers to your relatsionship with the teachings, teacher, fellow students, and ultimately all beings. If you treat other people like shit, if you are rude to them without cause, etc., then you have made mistake. Also we often do not understand when we have broken a samaya so it is pointless to obsess about the vows. There are hundreds and thousands of samayas. So, we just do Guru yoga.